What Are the “Florida Dead Body Laws” for Storage & Preservation of the Deceased?

what are the laws in florida regarding the preservation and storage of the deceased

When it comes to funeral home negligence cases, there are many things that can go wrong: Theft of personal items. Selling of organs or prosthetics. Inadequate embalming. Improper storage. While they’re all horrifying, the last two items on the list can result in decomposition and/or disfigurement of the deceased, leaving family members with even more emotional distress.

Fortunately, the State of Florida has specific mandatory provisions to regulate the transportation and storage of the deceased. Failing to comply is a crime punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, family members of the deceased individual can file a civil lawsuit against the funeral home.

Florida Laws Regarding Storage of the Deceased

The “Florida dead body law” has five requirements for storing and transporting bodies of deceased humans:

  1. The only places where human remains may be stored are licensed establishments including; health care facilities, medical examiners’ facilities, morgues, or cemeteries
  2. A deceased body cannot be held in any place or in transit for more than 24 hours unless it is refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, or is already embalmed.
  3. When being transported, a deceased body must be placed in a container designed to prevent seepage of fluids and odors. In addition, the person providing transportation is required to have a permit to do so.
  4. The deceased person’s body must be completely covered at all times, both during transportation and storage.
  5. All transported and/or stored bodies of deceased individuals must be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

Sometimes, funeral homes fail to comply with the law due to negligence (e.g. failing to keep bodies refrigerated at the required temperature). In other instances, people act with intention. In either scenario, there are harsh consequences.

If You’ve Been a Victim of Funeral Home Negligence, Let Us Help You

At Carey Leisure Carney, we have over three decades of combined experience successfully representing clients, in Clearwater, St. Petersburg & beyond. All of our attorneys are accessible and Board Certified in Civil Trial Law. Let us help you. Contact us online or call us at 727-799-3900 to schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.